Every year, students at the University of Indianapolis are given the opportunity to travel out of the country short term during the spring through a spring term course. Students can travel for around two weeks in May where professors from the university teach classes that include travel, according to the UIndy website. Currently, there are three spring term trips being offered in 2019. The trips include Ecuador, a festival chorale tour with stops in Germany, France and Switzerland and an exploration of the Caribbean and Barbados.
Associate Professor of Education Terrence Harewood will be leading a group of students on the trip to Barbados, located in the Caribbean Islands, which is where Harewood is originally from. He said he has not taken a group of students to Barbados since 2011.
The trip will be a service learning trip, where students will also have the chance to explore the culture while having cross-cultural experiences, according to Harewood. He said spring term trips abroad give students the opportunity to experience and learn from a different culture without spending a full summer or semester out of the country.
“Students will be able to get a better sense of values and things that we do here while living in the United States,” Harewood said. “We will also look at the political, educational, healthcare systems, as well as religion in which we will be going to church and exploring one of the oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere.”
Junior religion major Jamarcus Walker attended the four countries of many adventures trip, which was a spring term last May. He and the group of students traveled around Europe for ten days, starting in Switzerland moved to Austria and ending in Germany. Being a religion major, Walker said that he enjoyed experiencing the religious culture while on the trip.
“While in Austria, I actually got to go to a Catholic mass service that was held in German,” Walker said. “It was really great to experience that and for me, that was one of the groundbreaking moments that I was able to experience, which very few people have.”
According to Walker, the best part about the trip was being in the moment and going on adventures that were not in the original planned itinerary. He said the freedom to not only learn about the culture but also have time to experience it on his own made for a great experience.
“While on the trip, we were looking forward to certain places and things, which were on the itinerary, but I think I got the most out of the moments that were not scheduled,” Walker said. “The moments that just happened or something I stumbled across and just experienced it, so just being present throughout the entire trip and not just only looking forward to certain points in the trip.”
For those thinking about going on a spring term trip, Walker said he recommends visiting the study abroad office to see what’s offered, whether it’s a spring term, summer or semester-long trip. He said traveling gave him the opportunity to become more aware of the world. The trip gave him the opportunity to to fully immerse himself into thedifferent cultures of the countries he visited and bring back knowledge and insight to share with others, according to Walker. He said was also able to make friends he will keep for a lifetime.
“It’s a really great experience to have that cultural difference for whatever length of time it is,” Walker said. “It opens you up to a lot more than just the normal United States and being able to see something different and experience a new world that you possibly would fall in love with.”
According to Harewood, those interested in traveling abroad for a spring term should attend call out meetings to get more information.